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If you enjoyed the hugely popular Spud, based on the hit first novel about the adventures and growth of a teen boy at a Midlands boarding school, good news is that filming is halfway through on the sequel, based on the second novel by Durban author John van de Ruit.
Production began on July 1 and the shoot has been scheduled for five weeks, says the film’s producer, Ross Garland, also the producer of the first film, who is aiming for a simultaneous local and overseas release for the sequel next June.
“Everything is running smoothly so far,” he says, adding that many of the same team who worked on the first movie have returned for the sequel.
“Actually, everything clicked into place fairly quickly. We have the same director (Donovan Marsh), cinematographer (Lance Gewer), production designer (Tom Gubb) and editor (Megan Gill) as the first film.”
Spud 2: The Madness Continues furthers the adventures of John (Spud) Milton at boarding school, where he has a special bond with his Crazy 8 gang of schoolmates and his teacher and cricket coach, The Guv, played again by British comedy giant John Cleese.
Joburg-born and now Perth-based actor Troye Sivan is back in the title role.
The movie is being shot this time not at Michaelhouse in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, but at SACS in Cape Town.
“We are filming interior scenes like the dorm, classrooms and the dining hall. It’s the oldest school in the country so it offers the same wood-panelled charm of the first film, without having to move our entire crew and cast up to the Midlands.”
The first week of filming involved the school social, which involved bringing in a lot of teenagers as extras.
“When we shot the school social for the first film nobody knew the Spud cast yet. So it was great to see how the lead actors and actresses are now seen as stars by their peers, with lots of requests for photos with their favourite Crazy 8 member,” says Garland.
The first film, he points out, has been sold to the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Scandinavia, Turkey and the Middle East. It was released in Australian and New Zealand cinemas in April this year.
“It’s been two years since we shot the first film and all the cast are portraying characters who are a year older. So we wanted them |to all look as if they have now |come of age and are in full-blown adolescence,” says Garland, pointing out that star Sivan is |now taller but actually doesn’t look too different from the first film.
“However, his character has definitely changed a lot – from the much-bullied boy of the first film to more of a rebel in Spud 2.”
Fans of the first film who enjoyed spotting Durban landmarks can look forward to doing so again.
“We spend time again at Spud’s house in Durban North. Mermaid’s house also features, as we see Spud squirming when he sees Mermaid with her new surfer boy hunk of a boyfriend,” says Garland.
Good news is that further sequels are being planned.
“That is definitely the plan for 2013 and 2014. Now that we are making the sequel, the chances are very good that we will make all Spud books into films (the fourth book is due in August),” says Garland.
In Spud 2: The Madness Continues, the original Crazy 8 cast return with a strong KwaZulu-Natal influence.
Tom Burne is Vern, Josh Goddard is Mad Dog, Byron Langley is Simon Brown and Blessing Xaba is Fatty.
Award-winning Durban funnyman Aaron McIlroy is back as Spud’s bumbling father, and chances seem certain that author Van de Ruit will make a cameo appearance somewhere in the film, as he did in the first movie.
“The new roles of the Normal 7 and the prefects are played by actors in Cape Town, where we are filming those scenes.”
Spud took some R17 million at the local box office and was the number one film in South Africa during the 2010 December holidays. The film also has the distinction of being the sixth top-grossing local film of all time.
Ed Jordan is expected to compose the music for the new film; having also done the music for Spud and the latest Leon Schuster comedy success, Mad Buddies.